North Danville was established in 1877 as a distinct town across the Dan River from Danville proper. Its first mayor, John T. Keen, was appointed on July 13, 1880. For a brief period in the 1890s, the town went by the name Neapoils before being annexed to Danville in 1896.
The Worsham Street bridge once connected North Danville to the
city's tobacco warehouse district on the south side of
the river, a vital link that was lost when the bridge was
demolished in 2009. North Main and Worsham streets,
both of which head uphill from the north bank of the
river, meet near the North Theater (photos below).
When this North Danville landmark opened in 1947
it was the last of the city's "Main Street" moviehouses.
In contrast to the industrial , commercial and
governmental functions clustered across the river,
North Danville is a predominantly residential area.
A small commercial district occupies three blocks
on North Main Street, the main artery through the
neighborhood. Victorian-style dwellings line the
northern end of the street, which is crossed by side
streets containing a variety of houses dating to the
late 19th and early 20th centuries (examples at
right). Architectural styles within the neighborhood
include Italianate, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival,
Tudor Revival, and Arts and Craft / Bungalow designs.
Cemetery, originally called North Danville Cemetery and later Neapolis Cemetery, was named after Thomas Jefferson Lee (d. 1887), an early spokesman for the establishment of the Town of North Danville. After the town was formed
Lee served as a councilman, a member of
numerous committees, and mayor. The
cemetery, which borders the northwest corner of
the district (see map at left), lies on the east side
of Claiborne Street and is bounded by Clement
Avenue on the north and First Street on the south.
The North Danville Historic District
was listed in the National Register of Historic
Places in 2004 is roughly bounded by North
Main, Worsham, Claiborne, Keister, and West
James Streets (see map at left). The district
contains over 400 historic buildings dating to
between circa 1-880 and 1955. Other designated
historic districts in Danville include the Tobacco
Warehouse and Residential Historic District,
Dan River Mills Historic District, Downtown
Danville Historic District, Old West End Historic
District, and Holbrook-Ross Historic District.
Credits: This interpretive panel was designed by The Louis Berger Group, Inc., Richmond, Virginia, as part of the historic documentation efforts stipulated by the Memorandum of Agreement concerning the demolition of the Worsham Street Bridge. Input was provided by the Virginia Department of Transportation
The cream-colored building is labeled the 1905 Capital Lodge No. 52, International Order of Odd Fellows.(VDOT), the Norfolk District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (VDHR), the City of Danville, and the Danville Historical Society. Copies of the historical report and large-format black-and-white photographic documentation are housed with VDOT, VDHR, the Danville Historical Society, and the Library of Virginia.